If you spend a majority of your time backcountry skiing with the occasional visit in-bounds and you only want to own one pair of ski boots, the Shiva MX 110 would be a smart choice. Otherwise, keep this as your touring boot and then get a traditional alpine boot for resort days.
The women’s-specific version of Black Diamond’s Factor MX 130, the new Shiva MX 110 offers a resistance-free walk mode with 40 degrees of range of motion for the easiest uphill movement we’ve found. And 110 flex for a precise ride down.
This boot, a new addition for fall 2013, is a major upgrade from Black Diamond’s previous Shiva boot. It’s considerably higher performance on the downhill, and is miraculously both lighter and stiffer. Comfort didn’t seem like a huge priority here—testers reported smashed toes. But that could be solved with some proper bootfitting.
Versatility This boot comes with both a tech sole and an alpine sole included in the price (most other boots make you pay extra for the second set), so you’ll be dialed no matter what type of bindings you’re using.
Liner With a fully thermoformable Direct Connect liner, you’ll be able to get a custom fit right out of the box. The liner comes cut away in the back for women’s wider calves.
Drawbacks If you have a particularly small or large foot size for women, you may be out of luck: They come in a rather limited size run.